Acupressure for Good Sex

This month on TCM Talk, we’re talking about Passion, Desire and Sex. My co-host Kirsten Cowan recently published a great two-part series called “Plants with Benefits” about herbs and essential oils to support a satisfying sex life. This article will focus on acupuncture/acupressure points you can use by yourself or with a partner to help enhance your sex life. Always ask your acupuncturist about acupuncture and herbs that are good for you or for a particular condition. These are just a few suggestions.

Warning: radically-inclusive, sex-positive, body-positive language spoken here

While researching links and articles to share with you on our Pinterest board, Kirsten and I have noticed something. There is one image of a white, heterosexual couple that is the only ‘sexy time’ photo we’ve seen used over and over again on articles about sex. You won’t see that photo on our articles.

While some of the points mentioned below are good for ‘seminal emission’ or ‘painful periods’ and may seem specific to men or women, most of the points help anyone of any gender, sexual orientation and whatever kind of relationship you’re in. Everyone has the acupuncture points I’ll be discussing here. (By the way, Prism Integrative Acupuncture has a great series of articles that are queer-friendly and sex-positive and we highly recommend checking them out.) 

If it seems like some of these conditions would prevent you from having good sex, doing acupressure on them can help change that. And talking about them with your partner(s) can help encourage good communication between you, which is not a bad thing in relationships.

How to use these acupressure points

You can use these points on yourself, using your fingers (or sex toys where applicable) for 30-60 seconds at a time on a daily basis. Or you can have a partner help you explore them, maybe with a favorite massage oil (like the Lovers’ Blend from Plants with Benefits Part II: Essential Oils for a Satisfying Sex Life) for the points on the abdomen and lower legs or perhaps a favorite lubricant, sex toy or tongue for the points in the genital area. Use the diagrams here to get acquainted with the location of the points.

During sex, it’s ok to massage the general areas – the abdomen along the midline below the belly button, the lower legs from behind the ankle bone working your way up the leg; and the points in the genital area that feel good to you. (If you want a cheat sheet for the points, go to the end of the article and look for the fireworks picture.)

Without further ado, here are some acupressure points to help you have good sex . . .

The Ren or Conception Vessel. (It’s not just for conception.)

This acupuncture channel runs along the midline of the body beginning at Ren 1, which you’ll see below, and ends at Ren 24 on the chin.

from A Manual of Acupuncture by Deadman, Al-Khafaji, & Baker

Ren 1 is midway between the anus and scrotum in men, and the anus and the labia in women. This is a point to calm the spirit, ease genital pain, help with impotence and seminal emission.

Ren 2 is located on the midline of the lower abdomen at the top of the pubic bone (which may be right below the pubic hairline as shown in the picture). This point treats genital dryness, pain of the genitals, impotence and seminal emission. It can also help enhance libido.

Ren 6 “Sea of Qi” is on the midline, two fingers below the belly button.

This article mentions the Sea of Qi point to help you with the ‘no-pants dance’ (I love that she uses that phrase so I’m sharing it here). In the article she quotes Dr. Michael Reed Gach from the Acupressure Institute* saying “Pressing this spot and acupressure points around it, can relieve the abdominal tension, strengthen the urinary and reproductive systems, and increase sexual intimacy and pleasure.” 

When it’s not helping you have better orgasms, this point can help build and move Qi in your body. It strengthens the Kidneys, which is one of the organ systems in charge of our sexual health. By moving Qi, it can also help with painful periods, cramps and irritability. (You can read more about this point in my article on Moxa for Menstruation.)

*Links to other articles from the Acupressure Institute about “Acupressure for lovers”.

The Liver channel

The Liver as an organ system in Traditional Chinese Medicine is in charge of the smooth flow of Qi and Blood in our body.

Liver 3 is located in the webbing between the first and second toes.

This is a great point for sexual frustration, depression and genital pain. (You can see a diagram and learn more about this point and about the Liver in my Spring and Chinese Medicine article.)

Liver 5 is 5 cun (acupuncture speak for about one hand’s breath plus two more fingers up) above the ankle bone behind the tibia.

This point helps with swelling and pain of the genitals (I have used it on transgender people after Gender Confirmation Surgery), incessant erection, plumpit Qi (the feeling of a lump stuck in your throat), depression, fear, fright, worry.

The Spleen channel

The Spleen helps us with things like fatigue, heavy limbs, muscle weakness and abdominal distention. It’s in charge of transforming our food into energy we can use. If the Spleen is weak, it may cause periods to be irregular. It may also cause phlegm and dampness in the body which can cause some of the conditions described below.

Spleen 6 is located 3 cun (4 fingers up) inside of the ankle

“The genitals are the gathering point of the sinews” – from the Su Wen (an ancient Chinese medical text) and Spleen 6 is “an essential point in the treatment of sexual and genital disorders in both men and women” – page 190 A Manual of Acupuncture by Deadman, Al-Khafaji, & Baker

Spleen 6 helps ease painful periods, painful intercourse in women, pain in external genitals in men and women ( in women, it’s also knownas vulvodynia – see Jennifer Dubowsky’s article), seminal emission, sexual hyperactivity, and impotence. This point helps with a lot of things! Caution: do not use if you are pregnant (unless you’re at the end of your pregnancy and your acupuncturist tells you it’s okay.)

Cheat sheet, please?


Help beyond acupressure 

The points discussed here are for self-care and partner-care. But some of the conditions described might take more than just acupressure to relieve. Talk to your acupuncturist about how Acupuncture, Chinese herbs and other Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques can help you. Your acupuncturist may also be able to provide referrals to other healers such as people trained in Maya Abdominal Massage, sex therapists and surrogates, psychotherapists, and even personal trainers who specialize in rehabilitation. 

You’re still reading? Go have fun and good sex!

Denise Cicuto